Indian Dress Pashmina Shawl
The French who were pioneers in the introduction of Kashmir pashmina shawls in western Europe were dissatisfied with the current motifs which they considered. Hence they sent missions to Kashmir in mid nineteenth century to alter and improve design catering for their tastes. The French pattern and their colour schemes of dominating Magenta got the better of Indian designs and colours. However, the artisans involved resented this change and adhered to their old styles. Nevertheless, the impact of the French influence on shawls patterns found expression in some contemporary art pieces.
Designer Pashmina Shawls and wraps
A notable novelty of Pashmina shawl art of the last phase of the nineteenth was map shawls designated by birdwood as superlatively fine. In these the motifs were pictorial maps of srinagar embroidered in multi-coloured wools. The city srinagar with its streets, houses, temples, gardens, river with floating boats, people, processions, horses, elephant and scenic panorama were represented in their respective location. Shikargah or haunting patterns were prevalent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On the whole, the pashmina shawl arts of Kashmir had not escaped the impact of central Asian and Europian influence but what eventually emerged from the synthesis and assimilation of these forms is distinctly Indian in its grandeur, depth and dimentions. This has also percolated to the brocade art that received equal measure of patronage from sultan.